Thursday, July 29, 2010

NTT DOCOMO Unveils "Xi" LTE Service Brand

In anticipation of its LTE service launch slated for December, NTT DOCOMO unveiled the brand name and logo of its forthcoming next-generation mobile service for the Japanese market.

The brand name is written "Xi" and read "crossy."

The "X" denotes both "connection" and "infinite possibility," and the "i" both "individual user" and "innovation." The logo, which resembles the infinity symbol, aligns the letters in a single stream to embody the bonds that organically link people, goods and information, and lead to new innovation.

DOCOMO said its Xi LTE service will offer downlinks of up to 75 Mbps, approximately 10 times faster than the company's current FOMA 3G service. Initially, Xi will be available in the Tokyo, Nagoya and Osaka areas, but coverage eventually will be expanded to other major cities and then additional areas of the nation. Xi users will be seamlessly handed over to the FOMA network whenever they leave a Xi service area.

Xi handsets, billing plans and other details will be announced later.

Best Buy to Launch "Connect" Broadband Service with Clearwire

Best Buy will use Clearwire's 4G network to offer mobile internet service to customers under its own Best Buy Connect brand. The service launch is anticipated for 2011.

"Our strategic wholesale agreement with Clearwire will enable Best Buy Connect to leverage the Clearwire 4G network's speed and bandwidth to deliver compelling new mobile broadband experiences for our customers," said Jed Stillman, vice president of Best Buy Connect. "This agreement paves the way to providing one-stop shopping and support for mobile broadband as more people become more connected across all kinds of devices. We believe consumers will appreciate the added advantage of relying on Best Buy Connect for both 3G and 4G mobile broadband services beginning next year."

Harris Acquires CapRock for $525 Million

Harris completed its previously announced acquisition of CapRock Communications for $525 million in cash.

CapRock provides managed communication services including broadband Internet access, VoIP, networking and real-time video delivered to harsh and remote locations around the world. CapRock managed network solutions include multiband, portable and fixed satellite communications services supported by its teleports and network operations centers around the globe. CapRock supports a wide range of customers in the energy, maritime and government industries, including Chevron, Diamond Offshore, ExxonMobil, Halliburton, MODEC, Shell, Transocean, KBR, Green Reefers, Gulf Offshore, Seatrans, Oceaneering, Subsea 7, the U.S. Department of Defense, Department of Homeland Security and other federal civilian agencies. The companies has its headquarters in Houston, Texas.

Applied Micro Revenues Rise 6% Sequentially, 35% YoY

Applied Micro Circuits Corporation (AMCC) reported quarterly net revenues of $60.8 million, up 6% sequentially and up 35% year over year. GAAP net income was $1.4 million or $0.02 per share. Book to bill, exiting the quarter, was 1.3x.

"The demand for our products continues to be very strong and we exited the quarter with a solid book-to-bill which demonstrates the wide acceptance for our products and the continued traction we are enjoying from the introduction of our new product lines. For the quarter, we once again delivered solid results and this is the sixth straight quarter we have met or exceeded the Street's expectations," said Dr. Paramesh Gopi, President and Chief Executive Officer.

Bob Gargus, Chief Financial Officer, commented, "We had a very strong quarter. In spite of industry-wide supply chain constraints, we were able to proactively manage our business and delivered results that exceeded expectations. Through solid execution, we continue to leverage the business towards sustained double digit profitability."

Motorola Partners with Intrado on NG9-1-1 Texting

Motorola's Enterprise Mobility Solutions group has formed an alliance with Intrado to deliver next-generation 9-1-1 (NG9-1-1) text messaging enabled products and services.

The two companies will initially focus on a citizen text messaging trial to enable access for individuals who may have speech or hearing disabilities. The result of this trial will help inform how citizen text messages are best integrated as public safety agencies move toward NG9-1-1 services.

In June 2009, Intrado launched the first text messaging solution to successfully deliver text messages directly to 9-1-1 and has continued to enhance that solution in preparation for broader deployment across the public safety community.

For the initial text trial, the interoperability and integration of Motorola's IP based PremierOne CAD and Intrado's A9-1-1 equipment and technology will be achieved using the ATIS Emergency Services Messaging Interface (ESMI) standard.

The companies said they support the need for NG9-1-1 standards. As future NG9-1-1 standards evolve and are approved by industry recognized standards organizations, trial solutions supporting these standards will be considered.

Crown Castle to Acquire NewPath Networks for $115 Million

Crown Castle International will acquire NewPath Networks, a provider of distributed antenna system (DAS) networks in the US for $115 million. NewPath was the eleventh platform investment made from the Charterhouse Equity Partners IV fund.

Crown Castle owns, operates, and leases towers and other communication structures for wireless communications. Crown Castle offers significant wireless communications coverage to 92 of the top 100 US markets and to substantially all of the Australian population. Crown Castle owns, operates and manages over 22,000 and approximately 1,600 wireless communication sites in the US and Australia, respectively.

NewPath designs, develops, owns and operates DAS networks that deliver enhanced network coverage, capacity and performance to wireless service providers (WSPs) in areas where traditional network build-out is difficult due to zoning, space, aesthetic, physical obstruction or cost constraints (such as urban areas, residential neighborhoods, large corporate, retail, or university campuses, sports arenas and stadiums).

Qualcomm Names Two Investors in India LTE Venture

Qualcomm, which won Broadband Wireless Access (BWA) spectrum in four telecom circles in India in the government auction earlier this year, announced the first two shareholders for its India LTE venture: Global Holding Corporation Pvt. Ltd. and Tulip Telecom Ltd. In the recently concluded BWA auction, Qualcomm won one slot of 20 MHz TDD spectrum in the 2.3 GHz band covering the key telecom circles of Delhi, Mumbai, Haryana and Kerala.

Qualcomm will have a 74 percent stake in the venture, while Global Holding Corporation and Tulip Telecom will hold 13 percent each, as required by applicable Indian Foreign Direct Investment regulations. Qualcomm said its objective is to facilitate the deployment of LTE while ensuring interworking with current and upcoming 3G HSPA and EV-DO networks.

Global Holding Corporation is the holding company of the Global Group, which provides network services to India's mobile operators and owns India's largest independent and neutral telecom tower infrastructure.

Tulip Telecom is India's largest enterprise data connectivity service provider and has significant experience in creating and managing large networks across industry verticals, such as telecom, banking, financial services and insurance (BFSI), retail, education, health care and government.

"Our objective was to secure initial shareholders who are operator-neutral, yet bring strong telecom and broadband experience, and we are extremely pleased we met that objective with Global Holding Corporation and Tulip Telecom," said Kanwalinder Singh, president of Qualcomm India and South Asia and senior vice president of Qualcomm. "With our initial shareholders, and operators we intend to bring into the venture in the future, Qualcomm will facilitate accelerated deployment of LTE in concert with 3G HSPA and EV-DO networks, which protects and enhances the significant investment made by Indian operators in securing 3G and BWA spectrum."


Cable&Wireless Worldwide Closes London Centre

Cable&Wireless Worldwide closed Thameside its earth/satellite location centre in London as part of its ongoing pledge to significantly reduce its carbon emissions by 80 percent by 2050. Originally the Docklands Telecommunications Centre, Thameside was a collection of huge satellite dishes in the midst of the city. The relocation to various other sites took over two years to complete.

As a global network node and co-location centre Thameside provided global IP backbone access of up to 10 Gbps for roughly 40,000 100 Mbps Ethernet services. It also supplied direct access to all United Kingdom national and international cable heads, connecting tens of thousands of IP data and voice users around the world via cable networks to Europe, Asia, Africa, Australia and the Americas.

The relocation of tens of thousands of users' network connectivity was an immense project that has taken just over two years to complete. A team of more than a hundred people were a part of the 24 hour-a-day, two-year long operation to close Thameside, migrating all services and closing all voice, IP and data, hosting; and access platforms located in the site. All electronic equipment was disposed of according to WEEE regulations and, wherever possible, the equipment removed from the site was repurposed in other locations or recycled.

The various services provided by Thameside have been successfully dispersed to other C&W Worldwide locations with the satellite capability moved to Whitehill Earth Station in Oxfordshire and a new ecologically friendly network site, built with low-carbon efficiency in mind, even boasting a living roof that provides insulation, attracts local wildlife, creates an appealing facade for the surroundings and helps C&W Worldwide realise even more carbon savings.

Redknee to Acquire Nimbus for EUR 11 Million

Redknee Solutions, which supplies converged billing, real-time charging, rating and personalization systmes for Service Providers, will acquire privately-held Spanish-based Nimbus Systems for EUR 11.25 million.

Established in 2001, Nimbus Systems has been engaged in analysis, control and management solutions, with a particular focus on customer relationship management systems and billing, rating and partner relationship management. Nimbus Systems currently supports more than 10 customers, including group operators Telefonica and Telia Sonera, and non-telecommunications clients, such as Santander, Spain's largest bank, and First Data, one of the world's leading transaction credit and loyalty card infrastructure companies. Following the acquisition, Nimbus Systems' customers and employees will be integrated into Redknee's existing business with a view to leveraging Nimbus Systems' customer base, partner network and employees.

Redknee said the acquisition of Nimbus Systems will further strengthen its operating model and market share, particularly in global group operators, including Telefonica, Orange and Vodafone, while providing future opportunities to expand into the Latin American markets. Redknee is based in Toronto.

Alcatel-Lucent Sees Improving Market Conditions

Citing improved overall market conditions and growing traction for its products, Alcatel-Lucent reported quarterly revenues of Euro 3.813 billion, up 17.4% sequentially, and down 2.4% year-over-year. The company said it is preparing for a strong second half of the year, backed with a growing order book, and confirmed its financial outlook for the year.
The demand for telecommunications equipment and related services is recovering due to booming data traffic and the need to increase network efficiency, however Alcatel-Lucent noted that its supply chain is still experiencing capacity constraints. Adjusted operating income was Euro 28 million or 0.7% of revenue.

"I am pleased with the continuing progress in our transformation journey, illustrated in the second quarter both by the top line and profitability. Revenues for the quarter reflect the on-going and expected overall improvement in market conditions and the good traction of our product portfolio. This is notably highlighted by the good performance in IP and wireless and, from a geographic standpoint, by strong growth in North America. The quarter also saw strategic and major wins with our selection by the NBN Company as a supplier for the Australian nationwide superfast broadband network rollout and by the ACE consortium to deploy a submarine optical link between Europe and Africa. And I am proud to announce that Alcatel-Lucent has been selected by AT&T as one of its Domain Suppliers for IP/MPLS/EPC equipment," stated Ben Verwaayen, Alcatel-Lucent's CEO.

Some highlights:

  • Networks segment were Euro 2.304 billion, a decrease of 3.4% compared to Euro 2.384 billion in the year-ago quarter and an increase of 19.5% compared to Euro 1.928 billion in the first quarter 2010.

  • Revenues for the IP division were Euro 318 million, an increase of 11.2% from the year ago quarter, with near 30% growth from the year ago quarter in IP/MPLS service routers revenue reflecting continued strong momentum in North America and EMEA.

  • Alcatel-Lucent has been selected by AT&T as one of its Domain Suppliers for IP/MPLS/Ethernet/EPC equipment and consistent with that selection, the group has been awarded a multi-year project related to AT&T's cell site backhaul infrastructure.

  • Revenues for the Optics division were Euro 622 million, a decrease of 14.6% from the year ago quarter. However, the company said terrestrial optics witnessed significant sequential increase and declined year-over-year at a lower rate than in Q1 2010 driven by strong growth in the WDM segment associated with the success of a new platform and the growing market demand, particularly in North America and Asia Pacific.

  • Alcatel-Lucent's next-generation terrestrial optics portfolio, including packet optical and microwave products, continues to gain traction, with the first commercially available solution to carry a single carrier 100G signal using Next-Generation Coherent technology.

  • After sustained strong growth in 2009, the submarine business declined at a double digit rate as some large projects have been completed or are near completion, while recent contracts have not yet started generating revenues and decisions on some other expected projects have been delayed. New major contracts include undersea networks linking Africa and Europe, and the Canary Islands and Spain.

  • Revenues for the Wireless division were Euro 1.021 billion, an increase of 5.0% from the year ago quarter. The WCDMA business was the key driver of that increase with another quarter of near 50% year-over-year growth driven primarily by the North American market. A very strong sequential increase in the CDMA business reflected spending to accommodate data traffic growth on 3G CDMA (EV-DO) networks, and the year-over-year decline in our GSM business eased to a single digit rate. During the quarter, Alcatel-Lucent and China Mobile completed the first high-definition video call over a TD-LTE network at the Shanghai World Expo and was selected as the sole equipment provider for China Telecom's CDMA/EV-DO Rev. B network at the Expo 2010 in Shanghai.

  • Revenues for the Wireline division were Euro 366 million, a decrease of 13.7% from the year ago quarter. Although the wireline decrease reflects ongoing spending cuts on legacy technologies, including core switching and ADSL, Alcatel-Lucent is deploying new technologies, including VDSL2 and pair bonding, with carriers like AT&T to extend the reach of their existing copper access infrastructure. In next-generation fiber-based access, sales grew significantly and the company was selected as a strategic supplier for the rollout of Australia's National Broadband Network (NBN) and will provide GPON and Carrier Ethernet aggregation equipment, as well as engineering and integration services. Alcatel-Lucent was also selected by both China Mobile and China Telecom to deploy its PON-based solutions.

  • Applications revenues grew at a low single-digit rate with enterprise solutions & Genesys stable. Services revenues declined at a mid single digit rate.

  • From a geographic standpoint, traction was strong in North America with a double digit rate of growth and an improved trend in Rest of the World with a much smaller decline in revenues than in the first quarter. The sales decline in Europe remained in the high single digit range. Finally, Asia Pacific witnessed a double digit rate decline due to low activity in China, partly offset by significant growth in India.